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Celebrating Nobel Prize Laser Inventor Charles Townes

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Published on Jul 22, 2014

Full Story: http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2015/0...
Video by Roxanne Makasdjian and Phil Ebiner
Charles Hard Townes, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for invention of the laser and subsequently pioneered the use of lasers in astronomy, died at the age of 99 on January 27, 2015. This video was produced on the occasion of his 99th birthday on July 28, 2014.
“Charles Townes embodies the best of Berkeley; he’s a great teacher, great researcher and great public servant,” said UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks on the occasion of a campuswide celebration of Townes’ 99th birthday last July 28. “As we celebrate this 99-year milestone and a career spanning nearly 80 years, we can only be impressed by the range of his intellectual curiosity, his persistence and his pioneering spirit.”

Until last year, Townes visited the campus daily, working either in his office in the physics department or at the Space Sciences Laboratory.

Only now nearing retirement -- he plans to shutter his physics department office this summer, but will continue to make daily visits to his office at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory -- Townes' career highlights include a 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the laser, ground-breaking astronomical research, wide-ranging admiration for his efforts to reconcile science and religion, 31 honorary degrees and 38 awards.

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